Sukhoi implemented a new onboard architecture in Su-35/Su-57

MOSCOW, RUSSIA — The Russian Su-35 Flanker-E and Su-57 Felon fighter jets will have new onboard systems. This is said in a statement of the United Aircraft Corporation [UAC] reported on its Telegram account. The new onboard systems have been developed and already implemented by the Sukhoi design bureau.

Sukhoi implemented an onboard network architecture in Su-35/Su-57
Photo credit: UAC

Successful integration will affect the entire Russian Su-35 and Su-57 fleet. According to UAC, the new onboard equipment is developed on the principle of open network architecture. “This opened the possibility of moving to a new qualitative level of functional problem solving and intellectualization of aviation systems,” the statement said.

The statement makes it clear that current and previous generations of the Su-35 and Su-57 have had elements of the new onboard computer structure. But they have not been detailed so far, the company said. After detailing, the Su-35 and Su-57 will be able to perform different tasks. For example, automatic decisions at all stages of the flight related to the “dynamically changing environment.”

With the innovations, pilots will now be able to use recommendations from the aircraft’s computer system. For example, which air weapon to use, both in solo missions and participating in group missions. The new onboard equipment will recommend to the pilot what anti-aircraft defenses and defenses should be selected for the aircraft. Another feature mentioned by the UAC is the automatic control of the modes of the on-board systems with

Intellectual support consists in issuing the necessary recommendations to the pilot for the use of aviation weapons, in group actions, overcoming the air defense system, and protecting the aircraft. It also provides automatic control of the modes of onboard systems with “reconfiguration of the complex in case of failure of its individual elements.”

Russia shows Su-35 pilot: 800 flights, hundred destroyed targets
Video screenshot

In the field of intellectualization of aviation complexes, three main components of the process can be distinguished. First of all, this is the introduction of new functions of the on-board equipment complex. They make it possible to improve the combat properties of the aircraft, reduce the intellectual and information load of the pilot when performing control and management operations, and provide him with additional tools for informing, evaluating, and predicting situations.

The peculiarity of these tasks is that they must be solved with some uncertainty of the input data that describe the current situation [external tactical, navigation, and internal technical], in the presence of random effects of external environmental factors. One example of such tasks is object recognition, which is now successfully solved by neural network technologies.

In addition, it became possible to use a new, more advanced mathematical apparatus. Previously, having certain limitations on the resources of onboard computing facilities, somewhat simplified mathematical models could be applied, constraints were imposed and assumptions were introduced. Currently, new onboard computers allow the removal of these limitations and the introduction of more complex and resource-intensive algorithms.

As for artificial intelligence [AI], it is still a broad concept. We use this term carefully. More often we use the term “artificial intelligence technologies”. Such technologies include neural network technologies, expert systems, and fuzzy logic.

Completely new 'smart' Su-57 fighter jet was tested in Russia
Photo credit: AvioBlog

There is another problem with installing AI on planes. The concept of “artificial intelligence” implies, among other things, self-learning. It is possible to do this on one sample. But when it comes to mass production, the question arises whether the level of self-learning of each system meets the customer’s specifications. And how to implement the adoption of such technology.

So far, there are no regulatory documents regulating self-learning systems. Therefore, artificial intelligence in its purest form in aircraft is not a matter of the near future.


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